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Chesterfield fires school safety manager over Facebook posts

Posted at 12:50 PM, Jul 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-12 23:23:10-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield Public Schools has fired its Safety & Security Manager after investigating posts he made on social media.

"The school division was made aware late Tuesday afternoon of reported postings and immediately began an investigation," Chesterfield Schools spokesman Shawn Smith said in a statement. "Donald Green is no longer an employee of Chesterfield Schools. We take seriously our responsibility to provide a safe, supportive and nurturing learning environment that is free from disruptions and distractions."

The Facebook posts were initially discovered by a group of parents who opposed Mr. Green's plan to hire retired law enforcement officers to serve as armed security guards and mentors in Chesterfield Schools.

Chesterfield parent Katie Sponsler said they first visited Green's Facebook page in an effort to learn more about him so they could better communicate their concerns about his plan. That was when one parent discovered Green had a second Facebook page which contained the posts that led to his firing.

"The posts said people who did not carry guns were weak, they blamed women for being weak and emasculating the youth," Sponsler said.

Donald Green

Other posts contained anti-Islamic images and language.

Screen-grabbed images from Facebook appear to verify the group's claims.

The group collected more than 60 social media posts and shared them with Chesterfield School leaders.

"How has no one noticed this?" she questioned. "I find it hard to believe there was no one in the school system who saw it."

Green, according to his social media profiles, has worked at Chesterfield Schools since 2014.

Messages left for Mr. Green have not yet been returned.

Amanda Farnum, another parent of Chesterfield County Public School students, called Green's firing justified given the circumstances.

"I hate for anyone to lose their job, but I think they did the right thing," she said. "Knowing his role in bringing armed mentors to schools -- someone with such bias should not have a role in leading the discussion on school security."

Farnum, who said she considered herself left-leaning and anti-gun, said she would like the county to explore other ways to keep Chesterfield School safe.

"Less reactive, more long-term [thinking]," she said "More resources devoted to addresses mental health issues and reaching out to families in the community."

Jackie Ann Ruiz, whose daughter will eventually attend Chesterfield Schools, applauded the parents who took the time to research the social media posts.

"This is one of the great things about the information-soaked world of today, the truth will come out," she said. "[Firing him] was really the only thing they could do. I hope it's not the end of the examination of the entire committee."

The Chesterfield County School Safety Task Force was created earlier this year, following the mass fatal school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

"Our work as members of the Chesterfield School Safety Task Force will be to evaluate current practices and look at ways we can continue to improve the safety and security of schools throughout Chesterfield County," State Senator Rosalyn Dance said in April.

The Chesterfield County School Safety Task Force has several meetings planned this summer before any school safety plans are implemented.